Since we just looked at how we spend our time, you had to guess that we would be looking at how to get rid of time wasters.
What Is A Time Waster?
To me, a time waster is something that does not provide value for the time you put into it. Time wasters are going to be different for different people.
I’ve made no secret over the fact that I believe Facebook is a giant time sink. However, to someone who is building applications and business off of Facebook, this would not be the case.
If you haven’t done a time audit, think about how you spent your time today. Can you find anything you spent time on that probably could have been better spent elsewhere?
My Time Wasters
Here are things that I have wasted time on in the past few months:
- Computer games
- Social media
- Reading “brain candy”
- Updating my GPS
- Avoidance cleaning
Strategies For Dealing With Time Wasters
Each type of time waster is going to require a different solution. The best way to come up with a solution is to think about how to limit or avoid the activity altogether. With limits, the limit should come from something outside of you so that you can’t get around it.
For software that produces no value, consider uninstalling it (I ended up uninstalling all the games on my computer during NaNoWriMo).
For online timewasters, consider installing a program such as Leechblock (Firefox) or Chrome Nanny (Chrome). These packages are free, and will shut you off between certain hours and/or after a certain amount of time. I took the additional steps of removing certain sites from my daily browsing. I only check my blog stats on Saturdays now, and Facebook only comes up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (I use the Firefox addon Morning Coffee to open up sites for me, so I am less tempted to go down rabbit trails)
For television, I have a device called BOB. It was purchased to eliminate the struggle over television time with my daughter, but I will use it myself if I start watching more than I would like. Bob actually shuts the television off when the time limit is up. :)
For the reading “brain candy” I can only avoid it or time my time with it. I am not talking about books that have any sort of mental challenge, rather the lame stories that allow my brain to pretty much stop working completely. (I am beginning to realize that many free books for the Kindle are free for a reason). I do have a bookmark with a timer on it that will beep when my time is up. I can also use my iPod clock for this function. My recent purchase of Mission Alarm is usually enough to break my concentration on the book and prevent me from “snoozing”.
For avoidance cleaning and updating the GPS, these were things that didn’t really need to be done. An awareness of what I am doing can help nip these types of activities.
Do you have any special ways to get rid of time wasters? Share below.
Photo by Rennett Stowe
Articles In The Series:
- Life Reboot: Where Do You Start?
- Your Ideal Evening
- What Do I Want My Weekends To Look Like?
- What Do I Want More Of In My Life?
- What Do I Want Less Of In My Life?
- Projects, Open Loops and the RAM Dump
- LThinning Projects
- Doing A Time Audit
- Eliminating Time Wasters
- Do You Have Brain Thrash?
- How To Streamline Inputs
- How To Plan A Month
- How To Make A Weekly Plan